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HR Hub: Q4 Market Trends, Employee Well-being, and Flexibility Initiatives

HR Insights – Q4 Mar 2024

What we’re seeing in the market


  • Candidates are telling us the market is quieter and in particular some of our client who work on a Consultative basis are saying it’s unusually quiet for this time of year, given historically, Jan -March can be buoyant for interim work.
  • More and more clients now having ‘set’ office days, also a lot more candidates looking for confirmation of this during the interview/offer process, requesting the hybrid working policy as some have been burned with being told it’s flexible, only to start and then be dictated too around when they need to be in.
  • FTC roles are still a challenge in terms of finding candidates who are willing to make the move. Again, historically, there would have been more candidates who would be willing to consider this and take the chance leaving a permanent role if it meant getting experience in a different industry or a step up in experience/salary, candidates much more considered/hesitant.
  • Hugely competitive within the Transactional HR space. Candidates at HR Administration, HR Assistant up to HR Advisor level have a lot of choice in terms of job roles, this quarter has seen an increase in candidates accepting roles, only to be met with an offer elsewhere.
  • HR Advisors are still in demand with it becoming essential that you have a USP to capture their attention, otherwise there are 4-5 other roles available all offering a similar salary, hybrid working etc. What else are you offering that’s different?


New face within the Iconic HR team



We are delighted to share with you that Anthony Oliva has joined the Iconic Resourcing HR team this week. Anthony will be focusing his efforts on the transactional HR recruitment desk, bringing his dedication and skills to match top talent with exciting opportunities.  With 7 years of valuable recruitment experience under his belt, Anthony joins us with a wealth of knowledge and expertise.



I am also thrilled to introduce Sheena Picache who will be joining us as a Talent Sourcer to bolster our efforts within the senior HR space. Sheena comes to us having previously worked as a Senior Research Analyst operating across the US and EMEA, supporting with niche opportunities. She shared a knack for uncovering exceptional candidates and her expertise in research and analysis, coupled with her background in talent acquisition, makes her an invaluable addition to our team.


CIPD Scotland Annual Conference


Did you attend this year’s CIPD Scotland Annual Conference? We were delighted to have representation in the form of Jenna Crole. Jenna enjoyed the combination of keynote presentations, panel discussions, and interactive sessions that delved into the latest insights and strategies for developing future workforces.

Some of Jenna’s key highlights were as follows:

  • Peter Cheese’s Opening Speech: Peter emphasized the extraordinary nature of our current time for HR professionals. He highlighted the significant changes and crises happening externally, underlining the role of AI and technology as allies. Notably, while 61% of leaders foresee AI replacing HR functions, Peter stressed the enduring importance of our strategic influence over administrative tasks. He advocated for a focus on “recruiting for attitude and training for skills.”
  • Roisin Currie’s Insights from Greggs: Roisin shared valuable perspectives on overcoming imposter syndrome and the importance of prioritising people-centric leadership. She emphasised the significance of hiring individuals who surpass our own capabilities, promoting a culture where talent is nurtured and valued.
  • Carl Honore’s Message on Productivity: Carl highlighted the necessity of slowing down to enhance productivity. He underscored the importance of unplugging, being present, and embracing activities like taking annual leave to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

We would love to hear your takeaways from the day?


Employee Benefits – Positive Initiatives from Greggs & M&S


Following on from some of the challenges faced in terms of recruiting and having a value add or USP, two prominent companies have recently made waves with their forward-thinking approaches, setting standards for recognising and supporting their workforce.


Greggs: Sharing Success with Employees

Greggs, renowned for its delectable pastries and savoury treats, recently demonstrated its commitment to valuing employee contributions by distributing a share of £17.6 million among its 25,000 employees. This gesture reflects the company’s appreciation for the hard work and dedication of its staff, aligning with the ethos of shared success and teamwork.


M&S: Enhancing Support for Growing Families

Meanwhile Marks & Spencer (M&S), a stalwart in the retail industry, has reinforced its dedication to employee well-being by enhancing its parental leave policies. M&S now offers an impressive six weeks of paternity leave at full pay, alongside doubling its maternity and adoption leave to 26 weeks at full pay. This significant investment underscores M&S’s commitment to providing support and flexibility to its employees during pivotal life moments.


A Commitment to Employee Well-being and Flexibility

Both Greggs and M&S highlight the importance of prioritising employee welfare and fostering a supportive workplace culture. By recognising their employees’ efforts and addressing evolving needs, these companies not only enhance morale and loyalty but also position themselves as employers of choice within the competitive recruitment landscape.


Employment Law Webinar – date to be confirmed, register now!


And finally, with several Employment Law Changes happening across 2024 to include flexible working, holiday pay, parental leave, carers leave, extended redundancy protection to name a few, a huge 98% of our HR network said they would be interested in an Employment Law Webinar to help them prepare for the upcoming changes. Reach out to be registered for the next available date!